Joffrey Ballet School

How to Become a Cirque du Soleil Performer

Running off to join the circus isn’t what it used to be. No longer are circuses the refuge of those with a past they want to avoid! In fact, it’s just the opposite – it takes experience and amazing skills to become a performer in today’s circuses – especially Cirque du Soleil and similar “cirque arts” shows.

With dozens of shows and touring companies, and more than 1,300 performers from diverse backgrounds, Cirque du Soleil shows are some of the most exciting and dynamic opportunities in entertainment today. So if you’re wondering how to become a Cirque du Soleil performer, you’re not alone. Circus arts offers unique – and highly competitive – opportunities for dancers, singers, acrobats and other entertainers. Learn more about how to become a Cirque du Soleil performer from Joffrey Ballet School!

About Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is an amazing opportunity for dancers and other entertainers because of its rapid growth and the diversity of the shows it puts on. As one of the fastest growing entertainment groups and largest live theater companies in the world, Cirque du Soleil employs performers from a variety of backgrounds: dancers, singers, clowns, gymnasts and acrobats, figure skaters…even bicyclists! Here’s what it takes to become a Cirque du Soleil performer.

Talent, Tenacity and Training

If we had to boil down our advice about how to become a Cirque du Soleil performer to three “musts” it would be talent, tenacity and training. 

Talent is the first requirement to become a Cirque du Soleil performer because Cirque du Soleil specifically hires performers to bring a particular entertainment skillset, such as dance, an athletic talent or other skill, to each show. And, they’re not just looking for dancers who can dance en pointe, or acrobats that can do flips. They’re seeking those whose talent is truly extraordinary – the standouts in their discipline.

In terms of dance performers, Cirque du Soleil hires dancers with strong technique, an extensive repertoire and a great stage presence. Two other factors they look for are an open mind and a readiness to learn – because this isn’t strictly a dance gig: it’s entertainment. That means doing whatever it takes to bring that wow factor.

Tenacity is also critical for a Cirque du Soleil performer because it takes a lot of persistence to get the job, and to keep it. The audition process is rigorous, as is the training period and rehearsals that go into every show. Audience expectations are high, so the workload that goes into creating a show that lives up to the Cirque du Soleil name night after night is also high. It can take years of training to achieve the level of skills required to become a Cirque du Soleil performer.

Finally, Cirque du Soleil entertainers need extensive training to bring that “wow!” factor every single night. Much of Cirque du Soleil’s reputation is built on word of mouth from audiences who were so entertained by what they saw that they recommended the show to others. This means performers must bring an amazing set of skills, not just in their primary talent, but in additional circus arts like clowning, miming, acrobatics, juggling, aerials and equilibristics – the art of balancing, whether on a unicycle, a tightrope, or other apparatus.

Get Your Cirque Arts Training with Joffrey Ballet School

In addition to the training involved in your primary “talent,” such as dance, Cirque du Soleil performers are increasingly pursuing training in these traditional circus arts. One of the best such programs is Joffrey Ballet School’s excellent Cirque Arts summer intensives in Las Vegas. 

Attending a specialized circus arts training program allows you to be introduced to and safely learn the skills that circus arts and Cirque du Soleil productions seek. Joffrey partners with Cirque du Soleil to present our Las Vegas Cirque Arts summer intensive. Artistic Directors Matthew Prescott and Maximilien Baud lead the intensive in partnership with Cirque du Soleil’s Tiffany Baker, dance supervisor of the Michael Jackson “ONE” show, as well as other Cirque du Soleil performers. 

The Cirque Arts intensive is offered for one or two week sessions at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the circus gymnasium L’Oracle. You’ll learn a variety of circus arts, from acrobatics, clowning and aerials, to juggling, balance, dance and more. You’ll watch live performances of Cirque du Soleil’s acclaimed productions of “O” and “Mystere.” And you’ll make friends and connections that can help make your dreams of joining Cirque du Soleil a reality.

Take the Next Step to Become a Cirque du Soleil Performer!

Are you ready to take the next step toward becoming a Cirque du Soleil Performer? Contact Joffrey Ballet School today to register for an audition to attend our Cirque Arts Summer Intensive! You’ll have the time of your life and get the skills needed to bring that wow factor to your future career as a Cirque du Soleil or cirque arts performer.

Avatar JBS Admin (69 Posts)

Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.


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Author: JBS Admin

Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.

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